Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Locked And Loaded

Every day at work, I have a miniature heart attack. It's all because I'm a forgetful person. And my wife would tell you that "forgetful person" is a drastic understatement. I forget 90% of the things I experience. And of the 10% that I do remember, much of it is mundane, arbitrary fluff. I hang onto ridiculous details and forget all the important stuff. Trying to get me to remember someone usually goes something like this:

Her: "Remember Stacy, and her husband, John?"
Me: "You'll have to be more specific."
Her: "She's tall with red hair. He's got brown hair and wears glasses. They have two little girls and they're friends of Tom and Annie."
Me: "Not ringing any bells. Anything else?"
Her: "They drive a Lexus. He works at a bank. She's allergic to shellfish. Their daughters are conjoined albino twins who wear matching eyepatches and have telepathic powers."
Me: "Nope. Still nothing. Wait... did she order the turkey burger last time we ate out?"
Her: "Yeah, that's them."
Me: "Okay, yeah.  I remember them."

I may have exaggerated, but you get the idea. It's like a horribly unfun game that we play to get me to recall information. And my terrible memory is one of my defining characteristics. So every day at work, when my coffee hits my digestive system, I use the individual bathroom. I'm not a big fan of stalls, the multi-use men's room stinks at all times, and the individual bathroom gives me the privacy I want. And every day, without fail, I think that I forgot to lock the bathroom door. And because I work with a bunch of idiotic mouth-breathing twits (who also like the individual bathroom), they don't just try to open the door. No, they assume that the bathroom is unoccupied and launch their entire body against it as if there's no possible way it could be locked. And in that split second of thunderous noise, I am wholly convinced that the door is going to fly open and scar both of us for life.

I've not yet forgotten to lock the door, but I'm really afraid I will at some point. And the simple fact that I refuse to use our disgusting men's room should tell you something about how bad it is. I'd rather risk being barged in on while using a clean bathroom than risk suffocation and disease by using the dirty men's room.

On a somewhat unrelated note: In my quest to make this blog more visually appealing, I was going to include a picture. But a picture of a bathroom would be weird. And it's extremely difficult to find a picture of conjoined albino twin girls who wear eyepatches. So here's a picture of my new baby girl, who is neither a conjoined twin nor an albino. (I'll try to update this picture when we finally find an eyepatch small enough for her.)

Thursday, June 21, 2012


If I had to pick the one flaw I think exists in my blog, it would be my utter laziness. But it would be too much work to delve into that.  So if I had to pick a second flaw, I'd say it would be the lack of visual stimulation. It's a text-heavy blog, and I'm well aware of this. So in the interest of visual stimulation, I've included three pictures in this post.

Picture 1 - How I Wrap Christmas Presents
I won't pretend this was some earth-friendly idea. I just thought it would be funny. It consists of the scraps of six different types of wrapping paper, a random envelope, some cardboard, and a Toy Story gift bag that I tore up and attached. It takes twice as long, but I think it's worth it.

Picture 2 - Proof That I'm "Hip"
(Yes, I'm aware that usage of the word "hip" automatically negates its application.)
When "planking" became popular, I had my son plank in our kitchen. He's quite the talent.

Picture 3 - Further Proof That I'm "Hip"
Not to be outdone, my daughter got in on the action.

I'm aware that planking has now become passé, but I don't really care. This is still really funny to me. And I assume you agree, since you're reading my blog. I hope you enjoyed my attempt at visual humor today!

Monday, June 18, 2012

What A Gas!

I'm posting this on my iPhone with the Blogger app I just discovered. And I'm posting it while holding my new baby girl, who is one month old today. Oh yeah, and she smiled at me yesterday.

I'd like to think that it's because she appreciates my sense of humor. Or maybe she's already figured out that my hairline is humorous. Or maybe I have food in my teeth. But more likely it's because she passed gas... which she does pretty much all the time.

Okay, now my thumb hurts from typing this. I probably won't post from my phone again until I upgrade to Siri and she can do it for me.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Late Night Fame

Did I forget to mention that Jimmy Fallon read my tweet on his show a few months ago? I did? Well let me tell you all about it!

In case you don't know how Twitter works, here's a quick explanation. It's just like Facebook status updates, except you can tag certain topics by adding a "hashtag" (which is just the number sign - #).  So if you want to tag something as awesome, you would include #awesome in the tweet. Got it? Good.

Jimmy Fallon starts topics via hashtag and asks people to participate by including his topic in their tweet. And he reads the funniest ones on his show the next day. He calls it the hashtag game, and it's pretty popular on Twitter.

So a few months ago, he started one called "#gamedaysuperstition." And he wanted everyone to include the funniest superstitions that they'd seen. And since I don't know any good ones, I made this one up:

"If we record the game, my brother pauses the DVR before every pass and whispers, "This is it." #gamedaysuperstition"

I thought that was pretty clever. And since you know how I started this post, you know that Jimmy Fallon agreed. Because he read my tweet on the show the next night! I can't explain how excited I was. Out of the thousands of tweets, my made-up anecdote was picked for the show. And since you probably know me from reading this blog, you know that's not the end of the story. Because that's all that Jimmy Fallon knew about me and my Twitter picture is my son, Jimmy guessed that I was a girl. So he said, "This next one is from thats_so_taylor. She says...." And then he read my tweet. So I was a) super excited that he picked my tweet and b) super upset that he thought I was a girl. Oh well, you can't win 'em all.

Anyway, if you want to watch it, click HERE and look for me at the 1:37 mark on the video.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Unavoidable Idiocy

If my life had a theme, it would be "Try not to look stupid." And I think it's an admirable goal. But for me, it's unattainable. I overthink every social situation that comes up in my life. Inevitably, I'll do something more stupid when I try not to look stupid. Oh, you'd like examples? Certainly!

Example 1 - I assume you're familiar with the way people greet each other. They tend to ask, "How are you?" or "How's it going?" So my preferred response to that is "Good." And it's almost automatic now because I don't want to wait too long to respond. It's really awkward when I struggle to think of a response to "How are you?" But the problem is that I sometimes respond before my mind has really comprehended what they've said.  So often times, they'll say "What's up?"  And because I hate responding too slowly, I immediately say, "Good! How are you?!" So I sound like an idiot.

Them: "What's up, man?"
Me: "Good! You? DERP!!!"

Example 2 - If I correct someone's grammar on Facebook, without fail I will have made a grammar or spelling mistake in my comment. So my comment says, "You meant your, not you're. Their not actually interchangeable." And then I get reamed for my their/they're confusion, and I look like an idiot again.

Example 3 - I'm forever terrified that I have food in my teeth. If I even think for a second that I have something stuck in my teeth, I'll find the closest reflective surface and check (I checked just now just to be sure). One day, a coworker called right after lunch and asked if he could drop by my office to discuss something. I said yes and immediately started checking my teeth for broccoli shards. And no sooner had I opened my mouth incredibly wide and tried to use my phone's screen as a mirror that the guy walked in to talk to me. So I looked like I was taking a cell phone picture of my tonsils. Again, I looked like a complete idiot.

Example 4 (last example) - I was out of town one weekend and a guy I didn't recognize came up to me and said, "Hey, where do I know you from?" So to help him avoid an awkward conversation and to save me the embarrassment of trying to place someone I knew I didn't know, I told him we didn't know each other. I explained that I was only in town visiting my older brother, and he must be mistaking me for someone else. And since I definitely didn't recognize him, I just knew I was right. So I thought maybe I'd kept from looking stupid. Then I got to my brother's house and realized it was his neighbor, who I'd only ever seen in the driveway (every time I'd visited). So it was awkward when we both got out of our cars at the same time and I looked like an idiot again.

It's like Master Oogway said in Kung Fu Panda, "One often meets his destiny on the road he takes to avoid it." That was one smart tortoise.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Great Way To Start The Day

Yesterday morning, I was preparing to get into the shower (stripping) when a five-year old boy ran into the bathroom, crying. (It's a good thing I have a five-year old son, or else that would be a weird start to a story.) I thought maybe he was having one of those "waking nightmares" where you're sleep-walking and having a bad dream at the same time. He had those a couple times in the past (solution: put him outside), so that's what I thought it was.

And when he came in, he kept looking down and saying, "Look!" So I kept looking down and couldn't see what he was looking at. And the more I looked down with him, the more frustrated he got. "No! Look!" I even grabbed his foot to see if he had some kind of bruise or cut or bite on it. But there was nothing. This concerned me more than finding a wound, because I assumed it meant he had a dream about a foot injury and couldn't shake the realism of it. But then I saw his head.

The reason he was looking down was not to show me something below him. It was to show me the giant mass on the top of his head. And for one wild moment I thought an overnight tumor had grown out of his skull. But upon closer inspection I realized that it was actually a large blob of Silly Putty (skin-colored) that was lodged in his hair.

Apparently, my daughter thought it would be cool to sleep with Silly Putty in her hand. And my kids frequently fall asleep in the same bed. So given my son's tendency to move around in his sleep and my daughter letting go of the Silly Putty when she dozed off, it got deposited right into his hair.

I don't know what is wrong with me, but I totally missed the chance to get a hilarious picture of him. Instead, I just slowly pulled it all out of his hair and sent him back to bed. Why do I always miss opportunities like that?! Can you imagine how many Facebook comments* I'd get?!

*FYI - I equate Facebook comments with feeling loved.

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Good Kind Of Addiction

I never understood how people could be "addicted" to exercise. I understood caffeine, sugar, and video game addiction. And those made sense because they were tasty and/or fun. But being addicted to exercise sounded like a weird justification for a habit. Nobody likes exercise. They just realize the good things that come from it. Or so I thought.

I know now that it's truly an addiction. And I'm not even a health nut or anything. I just really like going to the gym now. And taking three weeks off because there's a new baby at home has made me realize how much I like working out. I really, truly (surprisingly) miss it. And I'm looking forward to my next opportunity to go back. That's the very definition of addiction. I can't wait for my next fix.

Anyway, the side effect of my exercise addiction is that I've lost a good amount of weight. I'm down to my lowest weight in about a decade. And I went to the store the other day to get some new shirts to work out in. My old college t-shirts weren't holding up anymore. (They're so full of holes, they could be the plot of a Michael Bay movie.) So while I was at Academy, I saw one of those "compression" tank tops. I didn't really know what it was, but apparently it a breathable, purposely-tight shirt that makes people with a good physique look better. And despite my improved physique, I'm still not exactly "tone" or "muscular" yet. I'm more "doughy" or "frumpy" at this point. But I decided to try on the stretchy shirt anyway. I was hoping it would be one of those times where I was pleasantly surprised by the outcome. But it was not one of those times.

Instead, I almost got stuck just pulling it over my head. And the first image I saw in the dressing room mirror was a shock. It looked like someone had taken a small garbage bag, filled it with pudding, and then put my head on top of it. So I obviously didn't buy it. But I'm sure the dressing room attendant was confused by the laughing they heard.

But I don't feel too bad about it. It's a long process to go from a fat guy to a thin guy. I'm just right in the middle of it. And once I get back into the habit of working out, it won't be so bad. So this is not a feeble attempt at pity or attention. In fact, it's just an excuse to make fun of Michael Bay and give you the pudding-filled garbage imagery.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Identity Thief

You have to work with what you have. That's the best advice I can give to a single person. If you're funny, be funny. If you can play an instrument, play it (except drums... nobody thinks drummers are cool.) If you're attractive... I don't know, look at people I guess. And if you're boring, tough luck. But use the things you have. For example, I was never gonna get a date based solely on my looks. As a single man, I was overweight and similar-looking to a younger Dan Aykroyd. So I couldn't rely on that. The only way I was able to woo my wife was through humor and exceptional listening skills.

But the real advice behind that advice is this; don't try to be someone you're not. Don't pretend to like things you don't like. Don't fake common interests. (Also, don't practice identity theft. It's wrong.) It will eventually come back to bite you (when you've taken up crocheting and bird-watching). And I think that's pretty sound advice. It's advice I wish someone had given my older brother when he was in college.

He went to a party with a friend and didn't know very many people there. So he decided to use his anonymity to his advantage. He thought, "I can be whoever or whatever I want to be!" And being the large person that he is (not fat, just very tall with broad shoulders), he decided that the person he wanted to be was a college football player. He figured that it was something that was cool enough to impress the ladies, but obscure enough that there wouldn't be a lot of follow-up questions. So he found a girl he thought was cute and introduced himself. And after a few minutes, she said, "So are you a student here?" And he recited the line he'd been practicing to himself all night. "Yeah, actually I play offensive line on the football team. I'm second string, so I don't play much. But I'm working my way in." And then he waited for the girl to swoon over the athlete she'd just met. But as you can imagine, it didn't go as well as he planned.

By a stroke of horrible (and hilarious) bad luck, the girl had a boyfriend. And her boyfriend just happened to be an offensive lineman on the football team. So her response was, "Oh, then you must know my boyfriend, Zach! He plays left tackle!" And my brother, the brave, confident fake football player, wilted. She continued, "Let me go get him so you have someone you know to talk to." So he panicked and backpedaled really quickly. (He fought off the urge to literally backpedal.) He recanted his story as quick as he could. He explained that he didn't play for the football team and that he just wanted to impress her. She frowned and walked away in disgust.

In his defense, at least he picked the right fake personality to impress that particular girl. She obviously liked tall offensive lineman.  So let this be a lesson to you. Pretending to be someone you're not just doesn't work out. But at least my brother got to meet a real college football player that day!

Thursday, June 7, 2012


I went back and read my post about wanting comments (here), and I realize how whiny I came off in that one. In fact, I said that the only thing sadder than a blogger is a lonely blogger without readers. And I realize after reading that again that there's one thing sadder than both of those; a blogger with readers who shamefully begs for attention and validation.

So I apologize for being one of those bloggers. And I thank you for the comments that came in after that one. Despite the obnoxious way I begged for attention, I still got some. And I truly do value the comments from you guys.

I've also been thinking about the future of this blog. I think it would be fun to try to put together a book. It would be an over-the-top, highly exaggerated auto-biography using the same fictional older brothers as my scape goats. There would probably be a little overlap on the stories since I've been blogging about myself and others for three years now. But I could easily expand and embellish when I'm not limited by the constraints of a blog post. And I just found out that I could publish it in Kindle format for free. So I could write it, publish it, and then make it available for really cheap on Kindles, iPads, iPhones, Blackberries, and Android devices.

So what do you guys think? Would you buy it for a couple bucks? And if you liked it, would you recommend it? And any suggestions for making it better than this blog? I don't want to spend months putting together a book that nobody will read.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Bacon Guy

One of the perks of blogging is the level of anonymity I can enjoy. I can twist the facts, blame fictional older brothers, and avoid posting pictures or details about myself. I can be whatever I want to be on the internet, no matter how socially awkward or weird I am in real life. And while that is a scary thing in the hands of some people, I choose to use it for good (to make fun of myself without consequence). The problem with real life is that it's not so easy to control information like that. The perceptions that others have of you are really hard to influence. And wouldn't ya know it, I've got a perfect example of this!

A few months back, I mentioned to a friend of mine that I knew someone who didn't like meat. It wasn't a vegetarian thing, just a picky-eater/specific food preference thing. Well, the man I was talking to then sent me a link to a bacon-wrapped sausage/bacon meat dish (pictured below) and said, "I guess your friend wouldn't eat this!" And my response was, "No way! But I'd probably try it!"

And with that simple response, I earned a reputation. A reputation that I will apparently never shake. By telling him that I would try the "Bacon Explosion," I put it in his mind that I love bacon. And don't get me wrong, I like bacon... a lot. But it's not one of my defining character traits. At least it wasn't one of my defining character traits, until now. Because my friend has somehow tied bacon to my very existence. When he thinks of bacon, he thinks of me. When he thinks of me, he thinks of bacon. If he were to play the word association game and someone said "bacon" he'd immediately say, "Taylor."

When I post on Facebook, he chimes in with some way to bring up bacon. He sends me links to stories about bacon-flavored milk shakes. He sends me links like this one. And every time I see him, he mentions something about bacon. And he's not a person who doesn't know what to say. He's a well-spoken, outgoing, friendly man. So I know we could talk about many other subjects (because we used to). But his way of identifying with me now is to bring up what he thinks is my favorite subject. And his influence is spreading. I was talking to a mutual friend recently and he said, "You love bacon, right? Well, I was told to tell you about this restaurant we went to. They have a BLT with about a pound and a half of bacon on it." And I'm too nice ("nice" = "awkward and scared") to correct anybody on this. So I've just accepted it. Eventually, everybody in my life will know me simply as "the bacon guy." And I'll have to move and change my name and get new friends. New friends who will know my real defining character traits; insecurity, dry humor, and baldness.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

We're Officially Outnumbered

Well, I'm a father of three now. Our little Hannah was born about two weeks ago. And we've been blessed with a third healthy, happy child. No jokes about that. I love my wife and my children more every day. And no matter how frustrated or upset I sometimes pretend to be on these posts, I never take for granted what it means to be a husband and a father.

Okay, back to attempted humor!

So a few months ago, my wife and I were trying to come up with a name for our newest edition. We like classic, well-known names. But we don't want plain names that don't mean anything to us. So that makes for a difficult naming process. And we solicited the help of our 5-year old Andrew and 3-year old Madeleine. (See? Classic names.) My son decided that the best name for the baby would be "Sunshine." I'm not sure where he got the idea for that one, but it was funny. And he knew it was silly, so we all laughed about it. But Madeleine, ever the creative one ("creative" is the nice, parental way of saying "weird"), made up a name that doesn't exist. And if future Madeleine is reading this, forgive me if I butcher the spelling here. Her suggestion was "Kadiso" (pronounced "kuh-DEE-so"). And she was very adamant about it. It wasn't a suggestion... it was a decision.

We continued to ask the kids what they wanted the name to be. And Madeleine continued to unflinchingly suggest Kadiso. It got to the point where I couldn't think of any new names because she'd said it so much. In fact, it grew on me so much, that I honestly think it's a real name now (maybe Samoan or Haitian or something). If I ever meet a tropical-looking person and they introduce themselves as "Kadiso," I wouldn't be fazed by it.

Needless to say, we went a different route on the name. But our compromise for the kids was that Hannah's nickname is now "Kadiso Sunshine." And knowing my kids, that'll stick for life.